Teams receive new clubs
Members of the Southern California PGA Foundation spent Wednesday morning and afternoon hand-delivering new Wilson golf clubs to three deserving girls’ golf programs in the Imperial Valley.
First on the members’ stop was the team from Imperial High, which is only in its third year of existence. Tiger head coach Joe Jack Barker said he found out about the opportunity for his team through a contact at the team’s practice course, Del Rio Country Club in Brawley.
Barker said the chance to help his team obtain new clubs was too good to pass up and contacted the foundation in hopes they’d select the growing Imperial program.
“These clubs are definitely going to help us out,” Barker said. “It can be a financial road block for some people to allow their kids to compete, so this will definitely help as we try to grow the program.” The foundation began donating clubs to girls’ golf programs in July and so far has distributed more than 160 sets to schools in the CIF-Southern Section and now, CIF-San Diego Section, explained Matt Gilson, foundation manager.
“This program was established in April with the purpose of growing the participation of girls’ golf and fostering an enjoyment of the sport,” Gilson said.
The LA84 foundation made the initial donation, which has since grown with the efforts of the PGA Foundation members.
The LA84 Foundation is a nonprofit institution created by the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee to manage Southern California’s endowment from the 1984 Olympic Games, Gilson explained. Following the presentation at Imperial High, the PGA Foundation members continued their quick trip in the Valley, by visiting both Central Union and Holtville highs.
“This is so exciting,” said Spartan junior Irene Rodriguez with a smile. “We normally use clubs that have been donated to the school, so it’ll be nice to practice with our own. This is Rodriguez’s first year on the team and said she has enjoyed being the experience of learning the sport.
“I wanted to try it to step out of my comfort zone and it turned out to be really fun,” Rodriguez said. “I’ve enjoyed learning the concepts and the mental part of the game.”
The Imperial High girls’ golf team and coaches smile for a photo after receiving a new set of golf clubs from the PGA Southern California Section during a short ceremony on Wednesday morning in Imperial.
The Central Union High girls’ golf team reacts after receiving a new set of golf clubs from the PGA Southern California Section during a short ceremony on Wednesday morning in El Centro.
The Holtville High girls’ golf team was the third of three local programs to receive clubs from PGA Southern California on Wednesday afternoon.